Chelsea host Man Utd at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, and to make matters more tense, Antonio Conte has offered a firm opinion on his relationship with Jose Mourinho.
The pair have clashed previously, as reported by The Mirror, as things have become a little heated on the sidelines during two previous meetings between the two sides as one has taken exception to the behaviour of the other for one reason or another.
Coupled with Mourinho’s return to his former club, there’s already plenty of spice to the showdown, but Conte has arguably stoked the fire a little more with his comments ahead of the game.
While he was quick to dismiss the topic in general as he evidently wants to focus on the game in terms of what happens on the pitch, Conte laid down a simple rule that he likely has for all of his peers and it ultimately centres around respect for each other.
“We have to respect the job of the other coach. I don’t like to speak about the other situation,” he said, as reported by Sky Sports.
“He is an opponent and I’m an opponent for him. After the game it will be the same. I have respect for his job, he must have respect for mine. Then I stop.”
It remains to be seen if tempers are controlled this weekend as there’s no denying that the pair are both passionate and a win is equally as important for either side.
United can’t afford to slip up and risk falling further adrift of rivals Manchester City at the top of the Premier League table, while Chelsea need to claw their way back into the title race and make up ground on those above them.
In turn, it sets up an intriguing encounter, although based on United’s recent meetings with teams around them, specifically Liverpool and Tottenham, it may not be a hugely entertaining affair with just one goal in total in those two games with the Red Devils adopting a very defensive approach.